The event took place at Naylor Flowers in Lincolnshire, which grows over 50 million stems of cut flowers for supermarkets in the UK and mainland Europe.
In 2016 the Group signed up to the National Farmers Union’s Fruit and Vegetable Pledge, committing to promoting best practice in the fresh produce sector.
Since then, the retailer has applied these principles to horticulture by moving away from annual tender cycles towards long-term, three-year agreements with suppliers. The approach enables suppliers to agree production programmes with growers in advance, increasing their financial security.
British flowers are popular among Group shoppers, with sales of the seasonal British bouquet up 67% in the last year.
Kathryn Camps, horticulture technical and development manager, said: “We’re thrilled to see the British flower industry enjoying such a renaissance and must pay credit to the wide range of growers and suppliers across the country, such as Naylor Flowers and JZ Flowers, who ensure that UK consumers can enjoy the very best blooms all year-round.
“Our intention is to work with our horticulture growers in the same way we do with our fresh produce suppliers and we’ve made significant strides in extending seasons and utilising crops more efficiently, as well as implementing those all-important three-year deals.
“It’s important that we spend time on farm with growers as it allows us to better understand production challenges and days like today are a really valuable opportunity to take a step back and take stock of how far the industry has come.”
Matthew Naylor, managing director of Naylor Flowers, added: “We’re delighted to be celebrating Britain’s flourishing flower industry alongside the Co-op, one of our trusted retail partners. At the heart of a successful industry lies a bedrock of strong retailer-supplier relationships and the Co-op Group, by facilitating long-term three-year contracts, has given us a stability that means we can grow our business and focus on supplying the British public with their favourite home-grown flowers.”
Celebrated on 18-24 June, British Flowers Week aims to promote locally grown flowers and raise awareness of which, and when, flowers are in season.